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November 17, 2010

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Good ideas for the changes.
The local fruit requirement is a great change. One of the pleasures of New York wine is that so much of the wine is indeed local. IMHO part of the terroir is the culture winemaking of the region which really shows when all parts of the process are local.
No blind tasting is also a good. The story of the wine and winemaker are part of the joy of living in a winemaking region. Since the scale of the wine production of most wineries in NY are small the production is more craft or art like than the output of industrial winemakers. Hence the winemaker becomes a more important part of the experience of their product.
Looking forward to the results.

Alvin - Thanks for the feedback. I would guess this process will continue to evolve, but we're doing our best to honor the story of the top wines of New York state.

I love the addition of the beer category and local fruit requirement. To be honest I don't like excluding blind tastings, I understand that wine is more than what is in the bottle but I love the lack of bias that accompanies blind tastings. In fact I use blind tastings most often to prove that NY state wines are special. I'm not saying that it will in anyway diminish the the results because you guys are professionals and you obviously are unbiased but I love seeing the suprises from blind tastings.

Alvin: Always great to hear from you. I've been reading your blog and reviews quite a bit lately. Keep up the great work.

Mark: The decision to remove the blindness of our tasting. Evan and I have exchanged dozens of emails with our options, ideas and finally our decision. We discussed keeping things 100% blind like last year, a hybrid of blind tasting for the first round, and non-blind for the finals...but ultimately we decided to strip all the blindness away.

And we'll see how it works. If it doesn't work well, we'll change it up again next year.

Funny that you put in the local fruit requirement. I was going to suggest a tongue and cheek category called Best Import for the wines that used grapes from another part of the state.

Kind of bummed you didn't include my suggestion for Best Wine Packaging and Marketing. :)

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